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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

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CNN

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01:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 16, Connecticut 10, Nancy Lanza 7, Newtown 7, Lanza 7, Kate 6, Vicky 5, Vicky Soto 4, Sanjay Gupta 3, Jason 3, Hoboken 3, New Jersey 3, New Hampshire 3, Mourning 2, Israel 2, Ali 2, Tom 2, Sanjay 2, Victoria 2, Soto 1,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional  
   reporting and online resources update international news.  

    December 15, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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parking lot was full, wolf, we saw families going in. we didn't film them, obviously for privacy. but psychologists, psychiatrists, child counselors. one of the things people were telling us was that this idea that the community itself could be a source of healing. just simply knowing that people were seeking counseling and were all going through it together also provided a lot of comfort to these people. so i think that is why they decided to do this here. >> sanjay, stay with me, don't go away here. an unimaginable tragedy, growing even more horrifying with every gruesome new detail we learn.
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>> everybody, death was caused by -- everyone we have completed so far was caused by gunshot wounds. and obviously, the manner of death on all of these cases has been classified as homicide. >> a long time medical examiner calls it probably the worst thing he has ever seen in more than 30 years in this field. most everybody hit more than once. each with a semiautomatic rifle, and this. >> when i saw those teachers and i locked eyes with each of them separately, when i found the two children if i could go back i would -- i would embrace them. because i had no idea what they had gone through. >> the parents of children who survived the shooting struggle to come to terms with what their
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children and the teachers had to endure as we learn the names of all 26 people killed. not one of those 20 children who died over the age of seven years old. they were six and seven years old, all first graders. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, reporting here from newtown, connecticut. let's bring in our national correspondent, susan candiotti. she is joining us with more information, the very latest on the investigation, what are you learning, susan? >> reporter: hi, wolf, we're not going to dwell on the shooter's name, but he is twenty-year-old adam lanza, and we're learning today more on how vicious the attacks were. this information coming to us from the chief medical examiner.
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>> all the wounds that i know of at this point were caused by the weapon. i only did seven of the autopsies. the victims i had ranged from three to eleven, and i only saw two of them with close range shooting. this is a sample, i really don't have more information. the bullets are designed in such a fashion that the energy -- this is very clinical, i shouldn't be saying this. but the energy deposited in the tissue, so the bullet stays in. >> reporter: now the long weapon that the chief medical examiner referred to is one of the three guns that our sources tell us were found next to the shooter in the classroom. you'll remember those three, two of them handguns, and the third a longgun, that we have come to
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know as a semiautomatic called a bushwhacker, now -- i'm sorry -- i understand there may be a technical problem. >> susan i'm going to interrupt you for a moment. because the brother of nancy lanza, the mother of the shooter, the brother, james champion is speaking now in new hampshire. he is a police officer. >> is involved in, is going to go through the counnnecticut ste police, and the local police. so you won't have any information coming from any department in this county about what they're doing on behalf of connecticut. i can -- think i can say that law enforcement here is responding to any requests that connecticut could make. and we will do anything that is asked of us to assist on that. the rockingham county sheriff, mike downing is here with me.
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he has a statement from the champion family he would like to read. and we -- after that, i guess we can try and answer questions, although we're not going to be answering questions about the investigation in general. so i'll turn it over to sheriff downing. >> thank you, good evening. my name -- >> james champion, by the way, is the brother of nancy lanza, he was going to make a statement. but he decided he couldn't because it is too emotional. we're hearing now from his colleagues. he is a police officer. >> the family of nancy lanza share the grief of a community and nation as we struggle to comprehend the tremendous loss that we all share. our hearts and prayers are with those who share in this loss. the family, teachers, staff and the students of sandy hook elementary school, the first responders and to all of us touched by this tragedy. on behalf of nancy's mother and siblings we reach out to the community of newtown and express our heartfelt sorrow for the
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loss of innocence that has affected so many. the family requests that you respect their privacy during their time of anguish and loss. thank you very much. >> are there any questions -- like i said, there is not an awful lot we can answer. >> who called the fbi and other authorities -- >> the only thing i can tell you is that law enforcement, generally, has obviously volunteered any assistance to connecticut. and are responding to any requests that come out of connecticut. the requests that they're making of us and our response back to them will go through the connecticut state police, and we won't have any comments about that. other than we'll do anything we can to help. >> can you maybe talk a little bit about her, what she is like -- >> this is chief donald briggs
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hen here. >> very, very kind, considerate, loving young lady. she lived here a good part of her life. she was very involved in the community. very well respected. >> chief, can you talk about the champions in general, well known in town? >> i can tell you, small town, that mrs. champion, dottie, worked as a school nurse at the school for a number of years. a wonderful person, very good with children. jim champion worked for me for a number of years as the captain of the police department. and he currently works for me as a part-time officer as well as for sheriff downing as a deputy. >> have you spoken much to him since he has heard this news?
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can you tell us anything about how he is doing? >> the whole family is trau traumatized by this event, very sad, very sad. >> do you know if he was in contact, has he expressed anything -- anything -- >> i'm sorry i didn't hear. i have not. >> can you tell us about -- >> he has not. >> what does he say about -- this day. >> i have not had a conversation with him. >> do you know how close he was to nancy and her sons? >> very close. >> when is the last time they were back here -- >> i actually saw her last november when jim champion retired. i saw her at the retirement party. i haven't seen the children for -- since they left here in
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1998. >> you said -- >> my understanding it was 1998, that was my understanding. >> any other questions? >> okay, thanks a lot. >> all right, so let me just put in perspective what we have just heard, and sanjay gupta is still with us, as well. james champion, sanjay is a police officer in kingston, new hampshire. he was going to be making a statement right now. his sister was killed yesterday. nancy lanza, the mother of adam lanza, the man who went in, the twenty-year-old, and killed all of these people here in newtown where we are. he is too emotional. his sister is dead. he is the uncle of this young man. but other police officers and the district attorney came out and spoke on his behalf. wanting to sayhat they will obviously cooperate fully with
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this investigation. you think of the enormity, though, here he is a police officer in new hampshire. his sister is dead, his nephew is dead, kills himself after killing all of these young people, and six adults. i can only man what he can be going through. >> and it seemed like he wanted to come out and talk about it. certainly all this information. that was what the press conference was about. and at the last moment, he was too overcome to do it. which is not surprising, given the loss. we talked about the people who died in the school, but the lanza family, the champion family, which is lanza's brother in the case, they're obviously trying to come to terms with this, as well. incomprenhensible is the way they described it. there will be answers, but i'm just not sure, we still have not
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heard from them, it is incomprehensible, the big question remains, we may never fully get the answer why. >> reporter: but people are asking that question, wolf. you just heard that question from the statement -- on behalf of the lanza family. and all day we have been gathering more and more information about the suspect and his family, ali, you have been digging into this. we just heard from family members of nancy lanza. what are you learning about nancy? because she is also a victim in this crime? >> reporter: yes, she is absolutely a victim, we're about two and a half miles away from the quiet area where nancy lived with her son. beyond the police car, you can't see around the area. the lanzas moved into this area
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in 1997 or 8, they purchased house in 1998. they lived in the house together until nancy and her husband, peter, separated several years ago and divorced in 2009. and that left ryan, the son who now lives in hoboken, new jersey, and it left nancy and adam living in the house. nancy worked in finance in boston, and here in connecticut. she recently stopped working, which is interesting. we don't know whether she was retiring from working or spending time at home. but she did seem to confide with friends that she wanted to take care of adam. so they lived in this house until friday morning. and we spoke to residents around here. it is a very quiet neighborhood. all the lights are from cameras. big houses, we spoke to one neighbor who said they seemed
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quite normal, listen. >> they were a quiet, seemingly friendly people, i don't think people in this neighborhood really knew them too well. >> reporter: we also spoke -- that is a young man whose mother we also spoke to said look, nancy was into gardening. she had -- you know, they were not all that social with their neighbors, but they didn't know if they had a social circle outside of here. and that is the story, not a lot of information. this area, they asked residents to leave, some had come back. it is an active crime scene, police say they're finding a great deal of information from the shooting scene at the house. but a lot of neighbors are not really talking about what is going on. there is some confusion. this is a story where there are a lot of conflicting details all over the place. one area is the guns, where they came from, what they were used for. nancy lanza apparently told a decorator, who had done the christmas decorations on their
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house, that nancy said she apparently showed him a gun, a rifle that she had recently bought and said she liked to take her kids for target shooting. the atf looked at ranges in the area, and said they don't have evidence that the family went to local shooting ranges to shoot. but that is the latest information. >> reporter: it was surprising to some, ali, that the information came out that the guns, while the number of guns and how many guns were on adam lanza at the time of the shooting at the school, it was surprising to many that the guns were legally purchased by nancy lanza. >> reporter: you do have to do certain things, including take a course with the gun laws. of the six guns we heard were in the house, three of them were standard rifles. and the three he took with him were semiautomatics, in which
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case you can pull with trigger pulls. they make the most sense of assault weapons. they're not called assault weapons, that is a different category of guns. but it does seem he had access to guns that were not registered to him. they were registered to nancy, that is partly because connecticut keeps such good gun laws that we were able to find that out quickly. >> all right, thank you, great reporting, wolf i'm going to go back to you. many questions remain. as you said so many times, the question why? it doesn't look like it is ever going to be answered. >> yeah, at least not completely to be sure. kate, thank you. we're beginning also to put names and faces with some of those who lost their lives in this truly unspeakable tragedy. all six of the adults who died at the sandy hook elementary school were women. here are some of their stories. victoria soto's family said she had her students hidden behind her trying to protect them when she was shot and killed at the
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elementary school. her cousin says the hardest part was waiting to hear whether she had survived or not. >> and at that point, it was the hardest for the whole family, just a waiting game to receive word on what happened to vicky's class. >> also killed, lauren russo, hired just last month as a substitute teacher. her family says she always wanted to be a teacher since before she even went to kindergarten. she has two daughters in their twenties, married 31 years and goes to a lake house with her husband, in upstate, new york. and the principal, serious about teaching. >> she is an exciting, joyful, just an incredible educator, and then to lose somebody like that in our district, it is sad. >> she was a personal friend and wonderful leader. >> reporter: she had recently overseen the installation of a
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new security system, requiring every visitor after 9:30 to get buzzed in and show id. >> she truly did believe in creating an environment where children felt safe. i really feel that is the tragic irony. >> she was also a parent herself, raising two daughters and three stepdaughters. residents say hochsprung was well loved. >> god bless her, she was just a very special person. and all the parents knew that. >> reporter: two other women also died at the school, rachel davino, only twenty-nine years old. and anne marie murphy, fifty-two years old. if you would like to help in
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this really horrific tragedy, you can donate to the services, the mental health clinic will be open all weekend from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. for grief counseling. you can find all the information on cnn/impact. parents of children who survived this children, it is a horrific shooting. they are struggling right now to come to terms with what they experienced. you're going to see one of those wrenching accounts, that is just ahead. >> i can't look at my children's faces now without seeing the faces of every one of their soul mates and all of their friends. and everything we're doing right now, saying, talking about christmas. and just thinking your friends should all be here. it is so heavy -- so heavy on your heart.
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we're back here in newtown,
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connecticut. our special "the situation room" coverage of this horrific mass shooting continues. 26 people gunned down yesterday, six adults, all women. six and seven-year-olds, all first graders. here tom foreman is joining us to break down the newest information coming in on how this shooting happened, tom? >> you know, wolf, if they're going to figure out the why in this case, why it happened, investigators hope they can do it by retracing the steps. really spanning three states. they looked at the brother's apartment here down in hoboken, new jersey, by the way, just across from new york city. and up here, they go to the mother's house, where they found her body. and this is where they believe it all started with her murder. of course, their big focus is on the school itself. let's move over there and take a look. because authorities believe that
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after killing his mother, whether immediately, or after a period of time, we don't know, that the gunman went over to the school and there, he had these weapons in his car or some version of these weapons. and he began to move in on the school itself. we had a better picture, a close are timeline looking at radio reports and other eyewitness accounts. 9:30 in the morning is when we believed he would have actually approached the school itself, leaving, we think, this car over here. they put a lot of focus on it. and even if it were this car, he would have come this way, up to these front doors. and earlier it was mentioned this new security system, that prevented the first barrier to him. because it was locked at a time. and there was a report late on from authorities that said the glass had been broken, whether he kicked it out, or shot it out. whatever happened. and he went in the school, this is important to note. the first report we have of
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actual gunfire occurring in the school is what was reported at 9:36 in the morning, that is when you hear the first police report saying we have gunfire occurring in the school. we know from what witnesses said that everybody within the school knew the gunfire had started, in part because some could actually hear the gunfire. others heard it over a p.a. system in the office, and then others called and said is that gunfire? the authorities say all the shooting occurred in a very small area up here near the front. two rooms. it did not spread through the entire school, even though there were 600 students in the school. another important time to consider here, 9:38. i mentioned 9:38, because by that time, in a two and a half minute span, this is the time where the authorities say they're hearing that all the shooting is over. an incredibly short period of
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time. now i will say there was a report of shots, it is not clear if somebody told them there were shots or if there was simply a delayed report of the shots. but the bulk of the shots seemed to have occurred in this very short window of time. then you move to 9:40 in the morning, where you get the call, at 9:43, for the first emergency medical services. two ambulances were called initially on police radio. and a short while later, just a minute or two later, they said no, we have more victims. then there was sort of an indefinite call for as many ambulances and ems people as they could get to the school. because they knew they had a huge, huge problem on their hands, and this is the amazing part of it, we pieced together yesterday. we have more details, 9:40, we just put plus, plus, plus here, because it has been a little loose within the time.
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but we can say by some certainty that by 9:53, the reports were that this was basically over with. there was an awful lot more to do. but the simple truth, by 9:53, the report was they said they had a suspect down. officers said they had cleared the building. it is not entirely clear to us at this point, meaning they cleared the building of possible shooters or they had cleared the building of possible students. this picture, by the way, from the newtown bee. it is not clear if they cleared everybody out or just the suspect -- they were searching the roof of the building, as well. but just as we reported yesterday, wolf, the simple truth is all this happened in about a 27-minute time span. all of it happening in a very close area here. with much more information and much more detail that is where they're hoping to figure out some kind of why.
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what was the thing that made this person come to this school and do this horrible, horrible attack. wolf? >> the investigation obviously continues. so many questions have to be answered, tom, thank you very much. let's bring in brian todd right now. he has got a closer look at the shooter. the twenty-year-old, adam lanza, you're getting new information, brian, what are you learning? >> reporter: well, police say they have picked up evidence about lanza, and his mother, picking up evidence at the house. they're not letting on what the evidence is. but we're getting new details about the shooter's past and his family. his motive for this unspeakable act is still not clear, law enforcement officials say. and in digging for details about shooter adam lanza and his family, there are conflicting reports. a neighbor who knew him in recent years described him as
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troubled. but listen to those who knew him. >> just a kid. >> reporter: never anti-social? >> no, no. >> reporter: trouble maker? >> no, definitely not. >> reporter: noticeable? did he just kind of blend into the background? >> yes, nothing that would warrant any of this. >> reporter: ryan craft says he babysat lanza about ten years ago when he was fifteen, and lanza was 10. he never saw anything that warranted violence, but he would occasionally have a temper tantrum. >> he would be watching tv, normal stuff that kids do, but at ten years old, most kids get out of that phase. that was not the case for adam. >> reporter: craft was only a year over adam's older brother, ryan. who said to let him do what he wanted. >> nancy always asked me to
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always be with him in the room, no matter what. like don't go to the bathroom. don't ever leave him without supervision. >> reporter: craft says adam had a contentious relationship with his mother, nancy. she had split with the boy's father, peter, who was described as tax director and vp at ge financial services. but craft said that nancy was an engaged mother, always setting up play dates for her two sons and taking up family activities. neighbors say she enjoyed gardening and had taken time out of finance. >> just like everybody, normal, you know, decorate the house, the house was always pristine. and the house was like any other house wife. >> reporter: but like her son, there are gaps in nancy lanza's story that still need to be filled in. she owned the weapons that lanza used, including the semiautomatic rifle, according to a source. and it is not clear why she
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purchased those weapons. wolf? >> reporter: brian, adam lanza had access to more weapons than the ones he brought with him to the school. >> >> that is right, he lived with his mother, and law enforcement officials say he had more access to weapons than he took to the school. and picking up on that, the weapons at the house i'm sure we'll learn about that in the coming days. >> we just got a new photo of adam lanza. i'll show it to the viewers, there he is, as a young boy, he was only twenty years old when he went to this elementary school here in newtown, connecticut, killed 26 people, and then killed himself. earlier he killed his mother at the family home here in newtown. that picture just coming in. brian, we're going to be getting a lot more information on this twenty-year-old. and get more information on his twenty-four-year-old brother, as well who lives in hoboken, new
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jersey. >> we will, and hopefully we'll be picking up a lot more information. our teams are on the ground there, and we're scoping out information with law enforcement. and hopefully we'll piece a lot of the story together in the next couple of days. >> reporter: yeah, we certainly wi will, brian, let's go back to kate. she is working this story, as well. kate, the questions continue. >> reporter: absolutely, wolf, each one of the victims' stories is heart-wrenching, and it absolutely breaks their hearts. we spoke with the cousin of the first grade teacher, vicky soto, who died trying to protect her class, what are you learning, jason? >> reporter: well, it is just an incredible story. and there are a lot of incredible stories, as you know, kate, when you go over and talk
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to some of the members who knew the children, and faculty, and the reason why i'm standing in front of stratford high school is this is where victoria, vicky soto graduated in 2003. she was described as somebody who just cared about teaching, really wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl. that is the picture you see with her family. they described her as somebody who loved her students. in fact, they tell me she never even referred to her students as students. she called them her kids. they talked a little bit more about why they're going to be holding a vigil here tonight. and a little bit more about what happened in the classroom. >> the family didn't want vicky just to be another victim on a piece of paper. vicky was an outstanding teacher. well liked, well respected in her school community. and she was taken too early.
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she instinctively went into action when a monster came into her class and tried to protect the kids she loved so much. >> reporter: and can you tell me a little bit more about how she tried to do that? >> what we were told, she gathered her children into a closet and put herself in harm's way, in between the gunman and the kids. and we just want the public to know that vicky was a hero. regardless of the intimate details that took place in that classroom, vicky was doing what she knew was right in her heart, and what she was trained to do, to protect her kids. >> reporter: and some of those who are going to the vigil have already started to gather here tonight. expected to attend, kate, are they are two sisters who you see in the picture. her mother is expected to be here tonight. her father, as well. her cousin who you just heard from there. i'm told that what her family says they're trying to do is telling people in the community who are coming out.
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try to find green hats, and gloves, anything that is green. because green is one of her favorite colors. apparently there is going to be singing out here, the choir will be here. it is very hard to cope. one story in particular reson e resonated with me, they talked about one thing vicky cared about deeply. her black lab, roxy, who is walking around the apartment, waiting for her to come home. and of course, that is how her family is feeling, waiting for her to come home. another reason they're holding this vigil, is because they want the world not to see her as just another victim. they want the world to see her as a dedicated teacher, a loving sister, and a loving daughter, kate. >> reporter: jason, i'm sure that vicky soto's family already knows this. but i sat down with the parent
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of one of her first grade students, and they could not say enough wonderful things about her as a teacher, saying that their son, who she protected, who he was able to get out alive and run to safety, said he cared about his teacher very, very much. so i am sure they would want to pass along that statement to vicky soto's family, thank you, very much, jason. coping with unspeakable tragedy, not only for the families of the dead but also the victims. >> the principal, who god bless her, lost her life, was just -- a very special person. and all the parents knew that. there's a health company that can help you stay that way.
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bushwack . we're continuing our special coverage of the elementary school killing here in
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connecticut. soledad o'brien is here, and she had a heart-wrenching interview with one of the parents. >> when we went down to the fire house to get our children, we were unaware of the real tragedy at hand. i did not think children were involved. i thought this was isolated, a couple of teachers, maybe even just one. so when we got our children and i saw my son's teacher -- they were like ghosts. but they're incredibly composed. they had their sheets with them, checking off, making sure each child went with their parent. they -- they did everything possible to keep our children safe. everything, and i wish i had known when i looked at their faces just to say thank you, because i have my children. >> reporter: our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta is still with me. we're going to talk right now to
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an expert in childhood trauma, she is the director of terror and disaster programs at ucla duke center for children. dr. brent, thank you very much for joining us. what is the most important advice you give parents whose children may have experienced trauma, horrific event like this? >> the parents are going through just tremendous amounts of stress. and it is important for all of us to give them as much support. they have a lot of demands on them right now in terms of how to talk to their kids right now. how to provide those comforts. and there is great people in connecticut and all around that know what they're doing that can lend support to them at this time. and doctor, it is sanjay gupta, one of the things that come up here quite a bit, is the children who are in the school, you know, how long will the symptoms and the concerns about
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ptsd last for them? >> we have learned from other types of events. i have worked at santana high school and other school shootings, and also after norway. we know that for some portion of the kids it is going to be a long-term event. and we need for make sure that we have resources and programs in place in the school and in the community for the next several months and several years to support those who need it. not everybody will need that level of support. >> go ahead. >> is it possible to predict, doctor, are children -- are they more resilient than adults? are they less resilient? how would you characterize it? >> there are a lot of kids who are going to absolutely be resilient. but we also have to think not just from the ptsd side of things, these families are mourning. and they're dealing with grief.
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and we have to make sure that the services we provide address those grief issues. and that sometimes because of their experiences they may not be able to be grieving or mourning right now. that because of what they saw and they experienced, the trauma piece of it is getting in the way. so we need to make sure our services are providing both the trauma and the grief support. >> i know the conventional, the instinctive image, the instinct is, dr. brimer, is for parents not to break down, start showing really deep emotions in front of the kids, because the kids will start to get scared. is that smart, though? should the parents try to avoid that? >> there is no way that parents are going to avoid what their feelings are. and they are going to express just how awful and how tragic this has been. but it is also important that parents get support from other
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adults in their lives. whether it is clergy or other loved ones that can support them in a much more way that they can't get from their children. >> what about age? and maybe there is not a great answer to this, doctor. but these children are so young. i mean, is there a way to -- is there a specific thing that you should avoid when talking to them, or specific things that they should absolutely be hearing now in these couple of days? >> i think it is very important that we're honest with them. as you talked about earlier, we have to talk based on their age level and so we have to be very, very concrete and keep our answers short. and they're going to have to sometimes -- we have to revisit these conversations. but it is important to answer their questions honestly. and provide them comfort. we know that a lot of it is terms of safety, and how do we
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help them. think about those concerns of safety. and younger kids bring it to home. so they're going to ask questions, am i safe at home right now? are you safe? and we can provide those types of reassurances to them. >> and very quickly, should the kids get back to their routines in dealing with this? in other words, should they go back to school on monday? >> i think it is important to get those kids back to school. they may not be doing those type of things at school. they may not be ready to learn. but school can be that extra level of support for families right now. we can have extra professionals there at schools, teachers can monitor. other people can monitor how these kids are doing, can answer questions and provide a support. so we have found that returning back to a routine can be very helpful to their recovery. >> dr. melissa brimer, thank you
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very much for that expertise. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. and i hope you guys are taking care of yourself during this time. >> well, it is not easy, i got to tell you, sanjay, this is a tough assignment. you and i have covered wars and assignments. i think this is one of the most difficult. >> i think that watching the parents, that was hard, wolf. i tell you, you and i are both dads. and i think that is the hardest thing i have seen. and i'll just follow up on something you asked me previously. columbine was in april that year. and the school did not open again until august after the summer break. so it is going to be tough to think how they will decide that here. and i don't know if there is an exact answer in terms of when they should go back to school. you have asked. and we'll see. >> and we thought the story, the poison gas was a hard story, in hindsight, this is much more
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difficult. >> i guess because of these parents and children, everybody watching right now thinks that what if that were my child? and i keep seeing it in my own children's faces, i am sure you are too. >> for the first few moments after the shooting, the terror was multipled, kate talked about that. so what caused hillary clinton to faint, fall down and suffer a concussion? >> thank you, thank you for -- quicken loans? at quicken loans, we'll provide you with myql mobile. this amazingly useful app allows you to take pictures of your mortgage documents using an iphone or android smart phone... so you can easily send them to us. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ooh, la-la! you won't take our future.
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traumatiz . just a little while ago i talked to two spiritual leaders, who are helping those here cope with the loss. we're here at a dath, israel, and both of you, reverend, have been spending a lot of time with family members, how is that
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going? >> it is really tough in newtown. and it is the worst tragedy that i have seen in my life. and it is very hard to console a parent who just discovered their children were among the victims. >> and reverend, you have met with parents who have lost kids? >> yes, we were both there in the fire house with the families during that whole process. and it was just indescribable in terms of the grief and the waiting and trying to be present to them, and also to many of the folks that were working with emergency services, and police, and others who themselves were just sorrow of the magnitude that was happening. >> rabbi, is there one moment yesterday when you were the firehouse with these families that stands out that you'll never forget in your life? >> yeah, there's some very unshakable images and that's when the news came from the governor, that the children did not make it and the wailing of the parents and sort of the
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groping and trying to reach for something intangible. it was horrific, terrible scene. >> you were there, too? >> i was there, too it was from my perspective, holy ground. and as people have talked to me and asked me about it, i tip cali tell people, it was holy ground and honor the holiness of that place and space and the people that were there as best i'm able. it's something you never want to have to be in a room like that ever again. but in the tragedy, there is a sense of the holiness of it, unmitigated loss and tragedy and honoring that and honoring those families in their grief. >> we need to have a culture of peace and that so many of the young games that we have as children, very young ages is about war and killing and that we can make -- we're an
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intelligent country, we can make wonderful games that have to do with peace making and diplomacy and it doesn't take any intelligence to pull a trigger and blow somebody's brains out. >> what are you suggesting? the shooter in this particular case grew up in a culture of violence? >> yes, that our entire civilization is too inundated with culture of violence, there can be an incentive and a fun game that has to do with learning about other people in the world and dealing with grievances through active diplomacy. >> so many people have said to me, reverend, and rabbi, how can god allow something like this to happen. what do you say? >> one of the things i first say in this moment is this is not the moment to answer that question, at least not to the families that are in grief. i think there are answers, there are answer from my tradition that speak to suffering and how suffering can be transformative,
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how as a christian i understand that there are ways in which we can transform and be transformed in the midst of suffering. to be honest with you, that's not a question that i try to answerer today because people don't need to hear what becomes an oversimplistic answer to something so deep and profound. >> what will be the central message that you tell your congregation tomorrow morning in. >> i will be preaching a message that even in the midst of darkness there is light. it's traj thank we are in the midst of a season for us as christians, was christmastime and advent and it's a holy time for us. but we also know that in the midst of a season that so often we associate with joy and merriment, that it's also a season of darkness and, in fact, the gospel of john tells us light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome
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it. i'll be preaching a message that promises in the midst of the dark times that we know the light of god is with us and that we can be sustained in that and we can see that light in each other and draw from that light that is a part of our faith. >> the most important thing that we can do as i reaction to this is thrive. i set my banquet in the presence of the enemies. the enemy is the horrible event and the banquet is continuing our thriving in life. i lived in israel for ten years and saw the way the israelis would pick up and go to the spot where something terrible happened and the message was we carry on. we will carry on. we have great schools in newtown. this was an isolated incident. this event doesn't define us. we will continue to have great schools. and be the gate community. matthew and i are great friends and all of the clergy are great friends, and we will recover.
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>> rabbi, reverend, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> we're going to have much more on the mass killing here in newtown, connecticut, yesterday. but there's another major story developing today. i want to update our viewers in the was around the world. news that the secretary of state, hillary clinton, sustained a concussion after fainting. our foreign affairs reporter elise lavin is joining us with the latest information we're getting. what do we he know? >> reporter: over the week, secretary of state clinton got a stomach virus, as you know that put her out for the whole week. she caught that on a trip to europe. she had to cancel her trip to the middle east where she was expected to attend a big meeting on syria. now we hear the second suffered a lot of dehydration, fainted and we're told, her doctors say,
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over the course of the week they realized when she fainted she suffered a concussion. let me read you a statement from her spokesman, deputy assistant secretary. while suffering from a stomach virus secretary clinton became dehydrated and fainted sustaining a concussion. she's been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors. at their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in contact with department and other officials. wolf, i'm told this concussion was not severe and that secretary does intend to come back to work after some recuperation and her doctor said in a statement she will make a full recovery. >> i'm sure she will make a full recovery. we're hoping for that, of course. elise, thanks very much. let's bring back chief medical correspondent, sanjay gupta. the statement from the doctors is interesting. it goes beyond what the official
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state department statement said. >> that's right. people have maybe seen this but it says over the course of the week they evaluated her and ultimately determined she sustained a concussion. what this means, obviously, this didn't happen today. this -- she had a fainting episode, hit her head, that happened earlier in the week and doctors examining her and determining she had a concussion after that. they're also saying no strenuous activity. oftentimes they add to that, which you may find interesting, you don't want to -- you almost want to give the brain rest as well. doctors will literally say don't read anything, don't watch television, don't get on a computer. you want to put the brain to rest for a while to allow the brain to recover from a concussion. >> because the at the same time from the state department, her spokesman, basically said she's working from home. the doctors are saying they strongly advise her to cancel all work events for the coming week. >> that's right. this is probably some of the friction sometimes wean doctors
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and what patients want to do. i imagine it's going to be hard to get her not to do anything at all. the best way to get full recovery from a concussion is not do anything. this is more than anecdotal. those is something we know -- i've done a lot of reporting, as you know, on concussions -- this is very important. obviously she's secretary of state but this is very important for her to recover as well she's can. >> she was supposed to appear before the house and senate this week on december 20th on the benghazi killing of the four americans including the u.s. ambassador, state department report about to released on what exact hi happened. she obviously can't do that. they've announced she can't appear p appear. she's sending two deputies. >> that's the brain rest. recovering from a concussion would not -- that would not be on the agenda. >> assume it's a mile concussion. she's at home, not in the hospital. they determined she had a
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concussion. brain rest is very important. but how long? how long should somebody avoid any mental real strenuous activity? >> what you want to do is trial somebody. so you might -- my guess is what has happened she continued to have symptoms after this, maybe headache, maybe blurriness of vision, it did not clear as quickly as they would have liked. they determined it was a concussion. you slowly reintroduce activity, allow someone to start reading, engaging in exercise, and seeing if any of the symptoms come back. if they come back, you're back on rest again. so it can be back and forth for a little bit. my guess is a week. that's typically with a mild concussion, how they're characterizing it, that's the typical time frame. again, being they let her be home, throughout the entire time, i think they obviously would have a low threshold for having her in the hospital in this case, she's not. so i think the

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